It’s no secret that the summers in St. Louis and across Missouri can feature weather that can only be described as brutal. With temperatures reaching triple digits, the occasional hailstorm, drought, or torrential rains, summer can do heavy and lasting damage to your trees and, in extreme cases, destroy them.
Keep Your Eyes Open
While catastrophic events such as hail or windstorms can damage or destroy a tree in minutes, many issues unfold over the course of days and weeks. It’s easy to take your trees for granted and not actually “see” them, especially in months such as July and August when venturing into the heat and humidity is a challenge only taken up with trips in an air-conditioned vehicle or to cut grass.
But it’s important to keep up with the health of your trees and to recognize if one of them – or several – is distressed. If caught early, many threats to the health of your trees can be reversed.
When it comes to threats to the health of your trees during the extreme weather of summer, it’s important to remember just the heat, intense sun and low moisture that typify many midwestern summers can put tremendous stress on your trees. Any additional problems only worsen the health of your trees.
With this in mind, watch out for:
- Broken or dropping limbs
- Discoloration of the edges of leaves
- Rolling leaves
- Wilted or dropping leaves
- Dusty or cracking soil around the base of your trees
Each of these symptoms can be a tree’s call for help, one that you can and should answer.
Prune Or Support Broken Or Stressed Limbs
Broken, dead or heavily damaged limbs can significantly stress a tree. Not only are these limbs a threat to the health of your trees; they are also a safety issue. Pruning them can be done at any time and is best done as soon as a tree is damaged. It’s important to remember pruning removes damaged or diseased limbs and eliminates the negative effects of these limbs, and it also promotes healthy new growth.
If you spot large or heavy limbs that are drooping significantly, your tree may require additional support in the form of bracing or cabling.
Watch For Signs Of Disease Or Pest Damage
Disease or pest infestations can strike trees at any time, but when trees are stressed by the extremes of summer weather, symptoms of disease and pest can be more visible than during fall or spring.
Various types of fungus, root rot, insect infestations and other threats can cause symptoms such as early or multiple leaf falls, discoloration, or visible growths on bark, or leaves that are discolored, perforated, rolled or wilted in appearance. The causes of these issues are numerous, and they can be difficult to diagnose. However, an early diagnosis and subsequent treatment can mitigate damage, save the tree and/or prevent spreading to nearby trees. Diagnosis, while crucial, can be challenging so enlisting the services of the certified arborists of Hansen’s Tree Service can be a smart move.
Water Is Essential
Summer weather in the Midwest is reliably hot, with the only question being, “how hot will it get?” It can also be dry enough to be classified as drought.
The negative effects of high heat and low moisture can be visible in all trees, with young trees being especially susceptible to extreme summer conditions as their root systems are not fully developed. Wilted leaves, leaf drops, and dusty, cracking soil around the base of a tree are all indicators that a tree is stressed by summer weather. Watering trees can help and adding a layer of mulch no more than two inches deep around the base of the tree can help keep the soil beneath hydrated. Avoid putting down more than two inches of mulch or piling mulch against the tree’s trunk, as this can invite fungus, creating additional health issues for the tree.
Get Professional Help For Your Trees
Getting a professional inspection of your trees is a good idea any time of year but is even more important during the summer months when your trees are stressed by extreme weather. Contact us and schedule an assessment by one of our certified arborists to inspect them for damage, pests, and disease before providing you with treatment options.